Yankees’ Contingency Plan: Possibility of an Infield Trade if the Yoshinobu Yamamoto Deal Falls Through

Published 12/14/2023, 10:40 AM EST

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The Yoshinobu Yamamoto deal is hanging in the balance. As the New York Yankees navigate through this crucial point this offseason, securing a strong rotation is their target. The uncertainties surrounding Yamamoto’s acquisition prompt the team to consider alternative strategies. But is it too late now? 

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Keeping aside optimism over Yamamoto’s acquisition, the Yanks now shift their focus on fortifying their pitching roster which is definitely “an area of focus”. Moreover, the absence of a major free-agent pitcher calls for desperately strategic moves to strengthen their pitching staff. Here’s why, it’s not a walk in the park!

Why the New York Yankees Should Prioritize an Infield Trade

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It is to be noted that the Yankees are not actively pursuing renowned free-agent pitchers like Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. That leaves them without any major free-agent pitcher. Given that, they would have to look within their roster for assets that could facilitate an impactful trade. The one potential avenue is by considering infield players for trade purposes. 

By leveraging their infield depth to acquire a valuable starting pitcher the team could bolster up their rotation. But this comes with the cost of letting go of key infield assets. On one hand, the likelihood of trading a key figure like Gleyber Torres remains low. The possibility of parting ways with someone like José Peraza opens up intriguing prospects, on the other. Addressing this pivotal juncture, Brian Cashman opened up. 

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Realizing the importance of solving this problem he said, “Pitching is definitely an area of focus. Since we off-boarded pitching to make these deals [for outfielders Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo], on-boarding pitching is going to be important, no doubt about it.”

Victor González who stepped into the Bronx on Monday as a ripple effect of the Ohtani-Dodgers deal could fix a gap in the Yankees’ bullpen. That comes with the potential departure of free agent Wandy Peralta. However, GM Cashman has allegedly maintained communication with Peralta regarding a potential reunion.

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That said, it is worth wondering why the deal with Yoshi might not be a great one for the Yanks after all. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Acquisition Comes at a Great Cost

Should the Yankees successfully outbid other competitive contenders for Yamamoto, it might have implications for another offseason addition. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic mentioned that accomplishing the 25-year-old’s deal could potentially reduce their interest in extending the contract for outfielder Juan Soto. Not to mention, “Owner Hal Steinbrenner repeatedly has shown there are limits to his spending.”

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The Yankees’ latest acquisition, Soto, is expected to cost a $33 million salary for 2024. By having the Japanese star on board, it would be an additional $300 million for Yamamoto. There is no way Steinbrenner is missing out on this financial implication. With only a 45-day negotiation window for Yamamoto, NY’s leadership’s plan for sorting out their pitching staff situation is imperative. One can only wait and watch. 

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Written by:

Kanishka Prakash

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"Our identity is forged through consistent actions. True excellence is not a singular act; rather, it is ingrained in our daily habits." Since I was a teen, I learned that the best way I could express myself was by writing.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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